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Doc Rivers Press Conference, 3/17 03.17.10 at 10:24 pm ET
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Doc Rivers talks to the media following the Celtics win against the Knicks on St. Patricks Day.

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Kevin Garnett Press Conference, 3/17 03.17.10 at 10:21 pm ET
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BOSTON. — Kevin Garnett talks to the media following the Celtics win against the Knicks on St. Patricks Day.

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Fast Break: Celtics – Knicks 03.17.10 at 8:55 pm ET
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The Celtics improved to 22-13 on St. Patrick’s Day with a 109-97 win over the Knicks on Wednesday in Boston.

Powered by 29 points from Paul Pierce, the Celtics led by as many as 27 in the third quarter. Kevin Garnett was right behind Pierce with 22 points and Marquis Daniels added 10 off the bench. Kendrick Perkins pulled down 12 rebounds while Rajon Rondo dished as many assists.

Davis Lee led the Knicks with 29 points. Former Celtics Bill Walker and J.R. Giddens 8 and 4, respectively.

Player of the Game: Paul Pierce scored 16 of his 29 points in the third quarter alone. It was Pierce’s highest game total since scoring 35 against the Hawks on January 29. He finished the night shooting 11-for-17 FG, 3-for-6 3PG, and 4-for-5 FT.

Turning Point: The Celtics accumulated a double-digit lead six minutes into the game. They led 35-19 after the first quarter, and that was with Pierce going scoreless in just 1:51 (he was sidelined with two fouls).

– The Celtics first five field goals came in the paint. They outscored the Knicks 56-44 in the paint overall.

– The last time Kendrick Perkins grabbed more than 10 rebounds was February 18 against the Lakers (14). It is only the second time since the All-Star Break that he has reached double-digits in boards.

– J.R. Giddens played his first game since undergoing knee surgery six weeks ago. It was his first game in a Knicks uniform and the first time he played at TD Garden since January 18 (as a member of the Celtics).

Nate Robinson scored 8 points in 21 minutes against his former team.

– The Celtics improved to 12-2 in the Atlantic Division. They are now 7-1 at home on Wednesdays.

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Doc to big men: Shelden ‘wants your minutes’ 03.17.10 at 8:40 pm ET
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Doc Rivers remembers how vital a sense of urgency can be for those who back up the starters.

The Celtics coach saw it on the 2008 championship team with Leon Powe and Glen Davis battling each other for minutes on the second unit with veterans James Posey and P.J. Brown.

Now, with Shelden Williams seeing some more playing time of late, he hopes history is in the course of repeating itself.

And he’s let everyone on the second unit know it.

“We kind of alerted the other bigs that if you’re not getting the job done, we’re just going to go with Shelden,” Rivers said before Wednesday’s game. “If he’s not, then we’ll go back with you. But I think right now, with our team, I think that’s a good place for all of them to be in.”

Rivers clearly is looking for that extra fire in the second unit to motivate the likes of Davis and Rasheed Wallace.

“I thought that was very good a couple of years ago with Leon and Baby,” Rivers said. “I thought that sense of urgency that the other guy wanted to play your minutes was a good thing for our team.

“We kind of feel into but I think it’s great that Shelden is there and wants your minutes.”

Williams has seen significant minutes of late in blowouts over the Pacers, Pistons and Knicks.

“It’s need and he’s showing me something,” Rivers said. “It’s been great all year in the fact that once he stopped playing he never stopped working.”

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Third Quarter: Celtics – Knicks 03.17.10 at 8:31 pm ET
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Paul Pierce scored 16 points in the third quarter to give the Celtics a 92-71 lead over the Knicks. He accounted for but eight of the Celtics points in the quarter.

The C’s are dominating the Knicks in the paint and have a 46-24 advantage. They are also outrebounding the Knicks, 33-26.

Kevin Garnett is behind Pierce with 22 points. Kendrick Perkins has 12 rebounds while Rajon Rondo has as many assists.

The Celtics are 34-8 when leading or tied after the third quarter.

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Halftime: Celtics-Knicks 03.17.10 at 7:45 pm ET
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After a dreadful start, the Knicks were able to get back in the game a little bit, but a late Celtics run gave them a commanding 68-49 at the half. The Celtics are shooting 63 percent.

All of the starters had solid halves. Kevin Garnett made his six first shots and leads the Celtics with 16 points. Paul Pierce added 13 and Ray Allen added nine. Kendrick Perkins has nine points and nine rebounds and Rajon Rondo has seven assists.

The bench also played well. Rasheed Wallace spent most of his time in the post and scored seven points.Ex-Celtics Bill Walker and JR Giddens each scored four points in limited minutes.

First quarter: Celtics-Knicks 03.17.10 at 7:11 pm ET
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After one, the Celtics lead 32-19 and for the second straight game, the Celtics got off to a fast start against a mediocre team. The C’s scored the first seven points against the Knicks, who missed their first six shots and made only two of their first 12 shots to start the game.

Kevin Garnett led the way with eight points on 3-for-3 shooting and Kendrick Perkins added five points and five rebounds. Rajon Rondo already has five assists. It could have been worse but a Nate Robinson 3-pointer was actually after the shot clock expired.

Paul Pierce went to the bench with two fouls just two minutes into the game. Pierce also had early foul trouble against Detroit on Monday.

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